0

Drip station ideas

Here are a few ideas for separating the “no-whey” from the protein of cultured non-dairy things…I’m sure there are a million more ways to do this. I usually go with cheap and easy so I’ll start off there!

  1. Most people have a strainer and a pot and a cloth napkin. This works super well and you can pick it up and move it really easily. I think a colander would work too, though it might take longer to drip out because the holes in the colander are usually further apart.

 

2. Big hair band and a big cloth and a pot. This method works really well too, when the strainer is being used. This method is probably the fastest, with the least amount of blockage between the cloth and the curd. You can also scrape the sides down more easily with this method than the above because the cloth is tauter and doesn’t move.

img_5101img_5099img_5098

3. Purchase a greek yogurt maker. I don’t use this device, so I can’t speak directly to it’s effectiveness, though it does seem convenient. For me, it’s another thing to store in a small kitchen space, so I prefer to use what I’ve got on hand, but to each her own!

img_5409

https://www.amazon.com/Euro-Cuisine-GY50-Greek-Yogurt/dp/B0091XNL0I/ref=sr_1_1?s=kitchen&ie=UTF8&qid=1517526288&sr=1-1&keywords=greek+yogurt+strainer

0

Hazelnut ricotta

What you need:

  • 2 c hazelnuts soaked for 8 hours
  • 2 T baking soda
  • 4 c water
  • 2 T apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 t salt (or to taste)
  • A pot
  • A fermentation station
  • A drip station (a towel lined colander works well for this job)
  • Avellana vegan cultures
  1. Place the soaked hazlenuts in a pot with plenty of water and the baking soda. Bring the pot to a boil. The water will turn red due to the tannins in the hazelnut skins. You can use this to dye with if yo’re a natural dyer!
  2. Once the skins start slipping off the hazelnuts, take them off the heat and drain the red water. Refill the pot with cool water and run the hazelnuts back and forth between your hands to get the skins off. They are pretty sticky and make a little mess. You don’t have to remove every skin.
  3. Add the nuts and 4 c water to high speed blender in blend on high for a minute or two.
  4. Use your extraction device to remove the fiber. SAVE 1/2 cup of the fiber! This can be dried on low heat and used for baking! It is defatted hazeltnut flour. It’s super light and delicious.
  5. Put the filtered milk back into the pot and add the apple cider vinegar.
  6. Bring the milk to a boil, stirring frequently. Let it simmer/boil for about three minutes.
  7. Let this milk cool and then pour it though the drip station. It may take a day or so for it to dry out to ricotta texture.
  8. Add one blue scoop of Avellana Creamery to the curd, along with the salt. Place this in the fermentation station for 24 hours at around 100 degrees.
  9. If you’d like the ricotta to have move texture, add the 1/2 c fiber from step 4 back into the ricotta.
2

Summer Zucchini “Pasta” Recipe

IMG_1361

It’s zucchini season! Here’s a delicious recipe that utilizes a ton of zucchini and it’s very easy too. We used spring chanterelles picked in coastal Pacific Northwest, but other mushrooms can be substituted with no problems-easy to access crimini or Portobello or shitake are delicious as well.

Ingredients

One giant zucchini (or four medium or 8 small)

¼ teaspoon salt

8 oz sliced mushrooms

2 cloves of garlic

1-2 cups spaghetti sauce

½ c chopped fresh basil

kalamata olives for garnish

Avellana Creamery hazelnut Parmesan

Directions

  1. Slice or spiralize your zucchini into long thin strips. I left the skins on.
  2. Toss the noodles with salt and put them in a colander to drain for thirty minutes or so. If you don’t have time to drain the zucchini you can strain out the extra water after you’ve cooked it and its fine, though your noodles might be a little less crunchy. You may actually need to drain them anyway, depending.
  3. Put the spaghetti sauce on low heat to warm up.
  4. Next heat a large skillet. If you’re using chanterelles you’ll need to dry sauté them, sauté them with no oil, to cook out the water they hold. If you’re using crimini you should add a tablespoon of oil and start with the mushrooms.
  5. I peeled and sliced the garlic and put it in next, then the zucchini noodles. I cooked everything until the noodles were al dente, which was around 3-4 minutes on high heat, stirring regularly then removed from heat. (Here’s where you may need to strain any extra water that’s cooked out of the zucchini.)
  6. Plate up your noodles, making sure to place the mushrooms throughout, put spaghetti sauce on top (to taste), and garnish with chopped basil, kalamata olives, and Avellana Parmesan.
0

Fair Trade is Cruelty Free

One reason that sourcing local products as ingredients for our cheese is so important to us at Avellana is because we believe in fair compensation for work done in fair conditions. When a product is produced in far away countries with minimal laws protecting workers, it is easy for human rights to fall through the cracks. Buying local is often more expensive, mostly because the labor involved in making the product has not been artificially reduced at the cost of quality of life for the the laborer.

Human beings are a members of the animal kingdom and as vegans, we at Avellana support the rights of animals. All living beings deserve to live their lives free from suffering and exploitation. Buying local or fair trade certified products can help ensure these rights are being honored.

We purchase hazelnuts directly from Meridian Hazelnut Orchard in Aurora, Oregon. We’ve visited the orchard and met the family that grows all the hazelnuts we use.

Mary Claire and David, owners of Meridian Hazelnut Orchard in Aurora, Oregon.

We purchase most of our spices from Mountain Rose Herbs, a company that takes great pride in their trade policies. They are certified by the Institute for Marketecology’s Fair for Life program, a program that goes deeper than traditional fair trade programs by requiring and tracking ethical practices from the starting point of the product all the way to the finished salable item. From their website:

WHAT IS GOOD TRADE?

  • Fair Price: Democratically organized farmer groups receive a guaranteed minimum floor price and an additional premium for certified organic products. Farmer organizations are also eligible for pre-harvest credit.
  • Fair Labor Conditions: Workers on Fair Trade farms enjoy freedom of association, safe working conditions, and living wages. Forced child labor is strictly prohibited.
  • Direct Trade: With Fair Trade, importers purchase from Fair Trade producer groups as directly as possible, eliminating unnecessary middlemen and empowering farmers to develop the business capacity necessary to compete in the global marketplace.
  • Democratic and Transparent Organizations: Fair Trade farmers and farm workers decide democratically how to invest Fair Trade revenues.
  • Community Development: Fair Trade farmers and farm workers invest Fair Trade premiums in social and business development projects like scholarship programs, quality improvement training, and organic certification.
  • Environmental Sustainability: Harmful agrochemicals and GMOs are strictly prohibited in favor of environmentally sustainable farming methods that protect farmers’ health and preserve valuable ecosystems for future generations.

At Avellana, we believe in treating the inhabitants of our world with kindness and compassion and we strive to ensure that our products reflect that belief.

2

Nuts are not the enemy!

cuttingboard_1

Even though we don’t do much with almonds here at Avellana, we really do love all nuts and seeds almost equally. As the threat and reality of drought comes clearer to us on the west coast, I’m hearing more and more talk about how much water it takes to produce almonds. This has definitely left me scratching my head at the twists and turns the human mind will take in order to avoid looking at the white elephant sitting in the cheese drawer of the fridge.

If it takes 1.1 gallons of water to produce one almond and there are around 100 almonds in a pound, it stands to reason that one pound of almonds uses 110 gallons of water during it’s production. In comparison, it takes 1,817 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef. It takes 700 gallons of water to produce one pound of cheese.

Dairy products contribute the single largest share of farm income [in California’s economy.] (from Wikipedia)

Meat and dairy production have a far greater negative impact on drought stricken California. Why are almonds taking the blame? Do away with almonds and you’ll still have the problem. We fear our beloved hazelnuts will be next! Not really, but the hard truth is that animal agriculture ravages the environment. The time for cognitive dissonance has passed. It’s time for a new renaissance in our food choices! We can make fully informed decisions on what we buy and how it affects our Earth.

Rock on nuts and seeds!

0

New Indiegogo Campaign!

close up cocoa nib2

Avellana Cocoa Nib Boursault

OUR INDIEGOGO CAMPAIGN! <–click here to get Avellana cheese!

It’s finally up and running and the clock is ticking down. We’ve got 44 more days to raise $8,000 toward getting Avellana in a store near you! The awesome thing about indiegogo is that donating here is a win-win situation. You get a chance to try our fantastic cheeses before they’re sold in stores or at Farmer’s Market. The perks we incorporated into our campaign are big to small: depending on what you donate, you can get as much as a wine and cheese party (6 flights of Avellana cheese and 6 bottles of well paired Oregon wines) for 12 people with all the fixin’s, plus a bunch of other fun stuff.

If you’re into vegan food, organic agriculture, community building, animal activism, or saving the planet, check out our indigogo crowd funding campaign. If you can’t donate, like it and share it. Every little bit goes a long way. Thanks!!

The Avellana Team

aka: Sue and Marika

Andrea_Mantegna_old painting

(Andrea Mantegna 1457,  German: Altarretabel von San Zeno in Verona, Triptychon, Mitteltafel: Thronende Madonna und Engel)

0

COMING SOON: A New Renaissance in Cheese

smoked paprika

 

Our Mission: To produce divine artisanal vegan cheeses for all fine food lovers, using age-old traditional methods and the finest organic Oregon hazelnuts prepared with the highest level of craftsmanship, compassion, and consciousness.

When I think about artisanal cheese making, my first thought is always of a cheese monger at a busy street market in the times of the Renaissance. She has on an apron and her hair is covered with a white cloth. Her wares are neatly displayed, wrapped in brown paper, tied with strand of twine. She’s in the middle of a sale with the local vintner who always buys from her because her cheeses are the finest and pair best with his famous wines.

The Renaissance cheese monger has a deep relationship with the land around her because if the land is in trouble, her livelihood is threatened. She knows her neighbors and her understanding of community is wide, because she depends on the connections she makes within her community to survive. She works hard to make the best quality product that she can because of her passion for her trade.

All aspects of our cheese making methods hearken back to a time when products were made by skilled workers, artisans, workers who used old and time tested recipes, workers who knew their trade like the back of their hands. And yet, while we always honor the wisdom of the past, our product also brings a breath of new life and compassion to the  traditional methods by making the shift from dairy cow milk to fresh hazelnut milk. Like the Renaissance cheese monger, we deepen our connection to our community by purchasing organic hazelnuts from Meridian Hazelnut Farm, a 48 year-old family farm right here in our Emerald Valley.

The alchemical processes that are required to make liquid milk into solid cheeses are different with hazelnut milk and dairy milk. It took me a year of experimentation to get the exact recipe right, toiling over a bubbling pot, stirring, measuring, timing the addition of ingredients down to the second. The secrets are in the details, but overall we use the most basic of all cheese making formulas to release the smooth, rich cream from the fibrous cellulose of the hazelnut. We make our cheese the way cheese has been made for thousands of years and we do it without exploiting animals. We feel that the time has arrived to spiral upward in evolution, to bring a new wave of compassion and consciousness to these processes.…and all that passion and love of the trade is evident in our final insanely delicious product.

blueberry basil

Avellana Blueberry Basil Boursault

Times are changing and people are becoming more and more aware of the effects their individual choices make on the whole interconnected organism that is our world. Organic hazelnut milk  means less exploitation of other living animals, less strain on our already overtaxed environment, and better health for you, the compassionate consumer.

Our cheese will be available at the Eugene Farmer’s Market in June of 2014 and other venues , stores and restaurants as we grow!

 

six_cheese